Posted in LIFE, NAIJA POETRY

GOD BLESS ON ANOTHER DAY (A Poem) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

(for you, nwa nnem, on another day)

Aôndo, wherever it is, that she would stay
may she find ease, is what we pray
may the stars smile
time grin all the while
to make twinkles
of her wrinkles
to cause an ease of every disease
a release to make every anguish freeze

She, my sister on this day
Chukwu – Lord, please bless, I pray
let beauty within and without
go with from North to South
on her several journeys
across life’s numerous tourneys…
your peace her traveling bag
your grace her every step tag

Nwa Nnem, The sun would shine for you
not to burn but give a due
not of your worth if it be wrong
but of blessings far long
than the cloak of your years
The times would heal your fears
the cock crow
to a beauty we know…

Let the moment smile
let it conquer everything vile

The sun would smile
and you, would be blessed all the while.

Break-of-Dawn-Sunrise-Photo

*Aôndo, Chukwu: The supreme being
*Nwa nnem: Child of my mother
Picture from http://www.shibleysmiles.com/2011/10/photography-finds-the-break-of-dawn.html

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Posted in TALES

AMORETTI by Ada Agada

The Sunday service came to an end at twelve in the afternoon. Many a soul sighed with relief, impatient to go home to the special Sunday rice and vegetable stew waiting in the oven. The pastor had delivered an unreasonably long sermon and many had slept off seated in the pews, their lolling heads driving the busy ushers crazy as they dashed from pew to pew shaking the incurably materialistic worshippers awake. Young colourfully dressed children poured out of the roomy interior of Life Needs Church dancing lightly on their feet and generally releasing contented childish sounds into the now hot midday air. Young men and women followed, more restrained in their chatter, but chattering all the same, showing off their neatly ironed suits and crisp ankara skirts and blouses topped with elaborately constructed headdresses. The church leaders and elders were the last to come out. They wore smiling faces that belied their strictly conservative temperaments and inclinations.

Abraham
slipped out through one of the side doors of the church building. He’d seen Patience and Patience had seen him. Both saw each other from the corners of their cunning eyes, but they were too proud and, paradoxically, too shy to exchange full glances after their last quarrel and the hurtful words they’d exchanged in more than twenty text messages.

Abraham moved among the over-excited kids, ignoring their cry for attention and pressing on. The kids were left looking at one another in dismay, as if asking each other what could have come over the otherwise warm Abraham they knew. They were of course, too young to know that there was a time for everything, a time for banter, a time for sobriety, even a time for anger.

He paused in the street, moved to the kerb, and watched from the corner of his right eye as Patience took her little sister’s hand, her ankara skirt stretching tighter over her ample hips. The duo hit the street and came abreast him. He looked at her directly, the yearning in his eyes telling the whole world the story of his unconditional love for a girl whose claims to being extraordinary was the mere fact that she was female. The little girl, being innocent and in the meantime safe from the frustrations of stubborn love, waved at Abraham. He waved back at her, smiling ruefully. Patience kept her eyes down and walked past without looking at him, although she saw the lower part of his body from beneath her eyelashes. He watched as her attractive figure retreated steadily down the road, retreated in the company of a little girl. A grunt of profound discontent escaped from his lips. This grunt was heard by a daughter of Eve standing directly beside him, just to his left, standing right beside him and staring at the disappearing girl, understanding everything and pitying Abraham but never rebuking Patience for treating him shabbily out of an immediate sense of solidarity with her fellow woman. He frowned without looking sideways. As he stared at the fish-shaped Idoma damsel steadily walking out of his reach, he heard a voice within him asking his greater self, in the individualization of himself in the depth of his being, asking thus: can I ever forget you or even dare try to remove the image of your mysterious but compelling presence from my mind, the region of my timeless striving? He kept staring with eyes of the hopeless romantic, and as he stared he told himself that Patience’s fine butt ought to be his alone, and not only her irresistible butt but also the rest of her body and all of her soul. Patience ought to be his wife.

Ene the intelligent but shockingly plain girl dug an elbow in his side.
“When will you two ever stop quarrelling? You’re dying for her, aren’t you?”
“Let’s walk a bit. This is a very bad Sunday.”
They moved on. Ene removed an ash-coloured handkerchief from her white handbag and wiped sweat from her forehead. He glanced at her face and wished Patience possessed Ene’s common sense and intelligence. The two girls were about the same age. Nature gave Ene intelligence and robbed her of beauty while bestowing beauty on Patience and robbing her of intelligence.
“What’s the problem this time? I’m really tired of intervening. I think the time has come for you to ask yourself whether you can live with Patience all your life.”
“If I lose this girl I’ll commit suicide,” Abraham said shamelessly.
“You won’t kill yourself because of Patience. I know this. But why are you two constantly quarrelling and making up again? The frequency of your bust-up is unusual. Do you know what you’re doing Abraham? Marriage is a life-long commitment.”
“Ene, money is the root of the problem. She won’t say it directly, but it’s obvious. Being a beautiful girl, she doubts whether I’m the right man for her. She thinks that her beauty can get her a richer man and that it will be a grave mistake to commit herself now.”
They walked on in silence. When Abraham said Patience was not an intelligent girl he didn’t mean that she was an imbecile. He only meant that she generally lacked common sense, the presence of which usually indicated the possession of some level of intelligence. But then Patience had a pretty face and an awesome butt that Abraham couldn’t resist. He was smitten. He loved her with his whole being and had sworn to himself that he would rather die than lose this introverted, somewhat simple-minded, and heartbreakingly unpredictable girl called Patience Agbo. She was twenty two, not interested in going to the university, and was ready to settle down with a good man and be a good wife. This good man must have some money. The good man who ignored her caveat would be cursed with the unhappiness of Abraham Adagoloyinu. His goodness was okay for heaven’s pilgrimage but not for a beautiful girl whose Facebook profile had this to say in the space reserved for her bio: I’m simple, the girl next door. I like wealth and comfort but fear God above all. Patience wasn’t a bad girl, being capable of unbelievable sweetness on her good day. But these good days were what they are: days. They didn’t last for ever. On her bad days she could be remote and unsympathetic, prompting Abraham to run to his friend Amos and ask the latter whether he wasn’t making a serious mistake putting his large heart in Patience’s hands.

If ever any man’s love was a torment it was the love of Abraham for Patience. What was even more absurd about this adventure of stubborn love was Patience’s inability to tell when she’d hurt Abraham’s feelings. She wouldn’t know she’d hurt him until he exploded in rage. Then she’d send him self-righteous text messages casting herself as the victim of his inconsiderate nature, telling him what a wicked man he was, what a soulless being he’d become to shout down on her and threaten never to see her again. For Abraham being in love was like taking up residency in the house of pain. Clearly, something was wrong, he kept telling himself. This wasn’t how love should be. This damsel with the curvy body of the African earth and a heart beyond his power of scrutiny often got him thinking about the enduring feminine mystique, a sexual phenomenon which, just at the moment it was being grasped as something in many ways erotic and this-worldly, inexplicably transcended the sexual, and quite unexpectedly too, to reveal a larger picture, the picture of marriage whose insistence on its time was nothing more than our awareness of mortality, the picture of child-bearing and -rearing, the necessity of the continuity of the human race and the moral evolution towards an apotheosis that would qualify woman to stand before God on Judgement Day and accuse man of loving sex too much instead of God Himself. Abraham yearned for a woman’s love, a perfect or near perfect love marked by beauty and a soul-lifting vision that eased all worldly difficulties. There was a song in his heart, the searing demand for an impossible Paradise, in the simplest term the longing for beauty. What was the meaning of his passion for the incongruous Patience? It was a ringing call for a better way of living that would make Earth a new Paradise. This materialization was in itself impossible. What must he do to enforce the coming of God’s kingdom on Earth. ‘Forget about love, just have sex,’ a voice whispered into his ears. Abraham rejected this advice as one falling short of the vision of beauty. He swore to himself that if he must travel from Otukpo to Europe and then America and Asia in what would be the longest journey of his life in search of true love he would set forth immediately.

They’d walked more than a hundred metres down the street and were beginning to sweat lightly. Sunday was always a happy day in Otukpo. Men and women wore their best clothes and stayed in them until the evening or even until the next day. For many a man returned quite drunk and exhausted and fell straight into bed never to wake up again that day. Ene and Abraham weren’t the only churchgoers returning home. The street was actually full of happy Idoma folk wearing their best clothes, mostly traditional gowns for the men and wrapper with blouses for the women. They reached a spot where a narrower untarred street started and curved away to their right.
“See you in church tomorrow for the love feast. Who is your partner?” Ene asked.
“Tell me your partner first.”
The girl laughed, waved, and turned quickly into the untarred street. Abraham stood still and watched her. Ene was a slender girl, not pretty and not as shapely as Patience. But she had loads of common sense, the very desirable quality which his bimbo of a girl lacked. Whenever he considered her sensible and kind nature he wished with all his soul that she was Patience. Sadly, life was never so kind. Ene was born who she was and Patience was Patience. Oh Patience, Patience, he cried within him, you that are blessed with beauty but cursed with stupidity!
He was still rooted to the spot when a suzuki motorcycle pulled up noisily beside him.
“Jump onto the passenger-seat of the motorcycle and let me take you home. On my way from church.”
“Ah Amos! You came just in time.”
“You should have fallen in love with that girl instead of Patience,” Amos said, pointing with his mouth at the slight form of the girl vanishing into the hot afternoon, even as the motorcycle shot forward.

 

 

*Excerpt from my long short story of about 6000 words.

Ada Agada is a philosopher and versatile literary writer. He is the author of the novel, The Anxious Life. He lives in Oturkpo, Benue state where he is currently lecturing and researching deeply into various philosophy treatises.

Posted in LIFE, NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD

IT WASN’T YOU, IT WAS ME (An Extempore Poem) by Su’eddie Vershima Agema

( for yesterday…)

 

It wasn’t you

It was me.

It wasn’t that you were late.

It’s just you made convenience expire.

I would have stayed forever to wait

You know, simply to catch the beauty of you

even for those moments – a few

but time came to call

and I didn’t know if you really would come…

 

 

Did you know that I had to bite my fingered thoughts

wondering what I’d tell you?

Yes, you leave me breathless…

So, as I ticked those moments waiting

wondering what to say…

That time when I told you to take your time

little or no inspiration came my way

Still, the glee of the moment

just the thought of you was enough to relieve me of the torment

 

When you didn’t show

I eventually had to go

Life called and other issues

 

Wipe the tears dear

It wasn’t you

It was me.

It wasn’t that you were late.

It’s just you made convenience expire.

I would have stayed forever to wait

You know, simply to catch the beauty of you

but time came to call

 

And that is why when you tried to call

the user was absent at the other end.

Posted in BOOK THOUGHTS, ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, LITERARY MISSIONARY

HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN WRITER by Elnathan John

Writer's Stop
Writer’s Stop (Photo credit: Stephh922)

 

 

You know the value of books. The process of making them intrigues you. You want your name on the front cover of a book and, like an earthworm inches through dirt into the ground, you want to make your way into people’s homes, heads and hearts. I am here to help you achieve that.

 

First, you must look the part. It is important to look like an African writer. Find multi-coloured kampala fabric and use it to sew shirts which you’ll wear to all writers’ events. Or an old t-shirt. You shouldn’t look like a model or banker. Your precious time is spent thinking of plot and theme and words, not on dress and grooming. Your hair needs to be unkempt. However, nothing says authentic-tortured-African-writer like dreadlocks. Please, note that in Nigeria there is a difference between dreadlocks and ‘dada’. Dada is less refined, naturally matted coils of hair due to superstitious neglect. Dada is uncool. Dreadlocks are deliberate. They are cool. They make you look wildly creative. If someone asks; no, you are not a Rastafarian. You are an African writer.

 

As a writer, you must flaunt your vices. You need to show that you are a flawed character. If you drink, drink too much. If you smoke, do it at inappropriate times. Show up at an event reeking of booze. People will understand. Vices are a tool of the trade.

 

Now, you have the basic tools: a multi-coloured kampala shirt, cool dreadlocks, and vices. You must set about the business of writing.

 

You do not need to read a lot to be a Nigerian writer. In fact, as a Nigerian writer you can make shameless statements like “I don’t really read much”, in public. All you need is a burning desire to write. It is sufficient to have read Shakespeare and Achebe, and maybe a little of Chimamanda Adichie for contemporary reading. The only thing you need to really study is a dictionary or thesaurus.

 

Please, note that all Nigerian characters are Africans who act the same: children are respectful of elders; parents are always responsible, wise individuals teaching children valuable lessons of life. Characters do not use cuss words or talk about sex, even when in the company of peers. Nobody’s mother smokes and we have no homosexuals in Nigeria.

 

Use big words instead of small words; ‘Discombobulate’ instead of ‘confuse’. How can you write like a layman when you are an African writer? It doesn’t matter how many people read or understand you. What matters is that you impress those who do.

 

Use many words. It is always better to err on the side of verbosity than to err on the side of brevity.

 

Protect your work fiercely and always insist that people give you constructive criticism. Anyone who points out, rightly or otherwise, that your writing isn’t quite there yet, is evil and an enemy of your hustle. You must believe that there is nothing like bad writing. After all, you were inspired by the spirits before you began writing – what do critics know?

 

Do not waste your time or money on editors. Editors are failed writers whose life ambition is to frustrate the hustle of real writers like you. Show your friends your work. But only the ones who are not jealous of your hustle, and who remind you that your writing is the best thing since point-and-kill. Find some popular person from your village who will write you a foreword without actually reading your book. Then, go to press.

 

Go to Ibadan or Lagos. Find a cheap printer who can print 1,000 copies without ink smearing on the pages coming out lopsided. Arrange for a transporter to bring your book home.

 

A book is not complete without a book launch. In Nigeria, a book launch is a fund-raising ceremony. It is not important to have writers at this event. Well, maybe the book reviewer. You need your state governor (who may not come but will send a representative with a cheque or a pledge); your Local Government chairman; your Pastor or Imam to bless the event; and any minister, senator or rich person that you know. It is important to find a Chief Launcher who will encourage others to donate to your hustle. Do not leave it to chance or the discretion of the Chief Launcher, unless you are sure of his capabilities. In Nigeria, nobody is allowed to embarrass the Chief Launcher by giving more money. So, if you can, gently hint that you know he will set the bar high for others to follow. That is the job of the Chief Launcher – setting the bar as high as possible.

 

You do not need a marketer, publicist or publisher. These people eat into your profit margin. If you have a car, carry a few hundred copies in the trunk at all times. Be your own marketer. Steer conversation toward your book and tell them you have written this really cool book. Someone will ask for it and you will tell them to hold on for a minute while you get it from your car. If you don’t have a car, have a big bag that can carry at least 10 copies. Do not be ashamed to carry your books to public gatherings. Book by book, God blessing your hustle, you may end up selling off the 1,000 copies your printer produced, and maybe even go for a reprint.

 

Get an award. It doesn’t matter what. It may be from your church bulletin which you have been writing for since you were in secondary school or your old boy’s association newsletter. You can even have friends get together to organise and award you the ‘Roforofo Prize for African Fiction’. Then, you can have on your book, ‘Award Winning Author’. No need to state what award it is. An award-winning writer is a good writer.

 

It is my hope that you make it as a writer and have many successful books in the market. And with well organised book launchings, you can be sure that God will bless your hustle.

 

 

ElNathan John blogs at http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/ … Follow his tweets at @elnathan

el jo

He is the creator of the Nigerian ‘How to series…’ Google it! You might also want to check:

How to worship the Nigerian God

Damn You – Letter to Nigerian Literature and all involved

How to show Nigerian love

http://dailytimes.com.ng/opinion/how-be-nigerian-mechanic

 

 

 

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, POL TALKS

HOW TO BE A NIGERIAN MECHANIC BY ElNathan John

Life is nothing without you. People may run away from you, despise you, but in their hearts they know, they need you. You are the one who saves the day: the woman stranded with an overheated car in a hold up, the lover whose car threatens to truncate his hustle, the transporter who needs his cars back on the road to make money. You get the desperate calls, you see their worried faces. You arrive and gaze like a prophet into the engine. You spend more time than it actually takes, but you get it done. Like magic, the car comes back to life. People don’t think about you unless they are in trouble. I am here to give you the prominence you deserve and teach those who intend to learn the trade just what they must do.

from http://www.eisodos.com/images/mechanic.jpg
from http://www.eisodos.com/images/mechanic.jpg

You need to appear dirty. A mechanic gains nothing by having presentable work clothes. How else will the car owner know you have worked on his car if he doesn’t have grease stains on his seats, steering wheel, dashboard, everywhere?

As a mechanic, you must prefer women. Not the restless, jobless ones who pretend to be men and try to truncate your hustle by coming to sit with you in the workshop and ask, “this one, na wetin; that one na wetin; show me wetin you change”. Not the ones who want to follow you to where you bought the spare parts. Those ones are bad market. You must avoid them like a debtor avoids his creditor. When they come tell them you are busy. The women you must prefer are good trusting women who call you to take their car. Those ones call to monitor progress only asking: “dat one na how much?” And that is all you need to hear, “how much?”  That is what puts a smile on your greasy face. That is when you invent parts and problems that do not exist and inflate the prices of the ones that do. This is not wrong; your conscience must not judge you. She is only paying for the ease with which she does business with you. After all do people not go to hotels and buy a bottle of beer for as much as 1,000? Why don’t they complain? God will judge those who sit in their offices and say bad things about you.

The people who come for regular checks or servicing, these ones are not your main target. You do not make much from the engine oil and oil filter. People who are very careful about their cars like that are usually stingy. But you need that steady flow of money, so keep them. However there is a way to deal with the really stingy ones. Just notice a problem. Tell them that, it is not so serious, but in the near future it will need to be worked on. Even though you have told him that it is OK for now, you have already planted the seeds in his heart. Forget to tie some bolt or tie it loosely. In about a week it will come off and his car will stop on the way. He will call you and describe the problem to you. This is when you will remind him that you had mentioned it before. He will feel guilty and foolish. And when a stingy man feels guilty, he temporarily stops being stingy.

If you finish fixing a car in the evening, never call the owner. Try all you can to make the car stay overnight. Especially on a Saturday. Especially when Sikirat, the daughter of the woman selling agbo, who is your new girlfriend has told you of this gbedu she needs to attend. You need a car for this. The customer will understand when you tell him that you do not like to rush your work. The problems of the car were so much that you had to ‘drop engine’. He may grumble, but Sikirat will get driven to her gbedu and will show her gratitude afterwards. Try not to bash the car or forget Sikirat’s things in the back.

Spare parts are where to make a killing. Nnamdi your favourite spare parts dealer knows how this works. He knows that you have certain customers who always demand to see receipts. He knows to ask you how much to write, or even give you a blank receipt. Nnamdi and his boy Emeka don’t care as long as they get paid. You laugh when the receipt-demanding customers stare hard into the paper to make sure they have not been cheated.

When a customer complains about how expensive the spare parts are, tell them, if they like they can go buy it themselves. Tell them where they can get it, all you want is to fix the car. Say that in fact if he buys the spare parts he will lighten your burden.  Most people will be satisfied that you are not trying to cheat and just give you the money. But some are stubborn and will visit the spare parts dealer. Don’t panic. Nnamdi and Emeka know how to deal with those ones. They will have so much problems that eventually they will realize that they were kobo wise Naira foolish. You don’t like Nnamdi and Emeka, but they understand the business and you get along fine.

To keep a new customer, especially the ones you think will not be stingy, you must impress them. Fix their problem quickly and tell them that in fact you noticed that three bolts were missing which you replaced. Tell them the implication of those missing bolts. It is God who made them come because it might have caused bigger damage. But you are not charging for the bolts, just being a good mechanic. As they struggle to count the cash, tell them how some mechanics are shoddy like that, forgetting to put back bolts and all. You are not like that. You take your time and solve both seen and unseen problems.

When a customer comes the first time and you want to keep them, never tell them how much your ‘labour’ or ‘workmanship’ is. Tell them, “Oga, just gimme anything”. He is bound to be grateful for all the extra things which you emphasize you did for free; for saving him from his last evil mechanic. He is bound to be generous. Even if he isn’t, you have already made a killing from the spare parts.

As you work, I pray that God will intervene in your greasy hustle and bless it, immensely.

el jo

 

ElNathan John blogs at http://elnathanjohn.blogspot.com/ … Follow his tweets at @elnathan

He is the creator of the Nigerian ‘How to series…’ Google it! You might also want to check:

How to worship the Nigerian God

Damn You – Letter to Nigerian Literature and all involved

How to show Nigerian love

http://dailytimes.com.ng/opinion/how-be-nigerian-mechanic

 

 

 

Posted in NAIJA POETRY, POETRY

FATSUMA ( A Poem) by Terver Chieshe

“I am deaf and dumb

But lovely and great

Hardworking and determined

To create jobs for others

Using my God given talents”

 

 

In the morning she wakes up

Practical and lively

Possessed by a great creative spirit

No! She doesn’t hear the cock’s crow

But she doesn’t wait for sunlight

She leaves her bed at the crack of dawn

And speaks to God within her mind

 

“No one needs to know me

Oh lord my God

But you have made me so beautiful

That someone must notice me

Even today

Oh! Allah na

I am very happy that people will notice me

I’m not really seeking notice

But I delight in the great possibilities

You set before me each day

 

The little things I do

Will surely be noticed

And someone will be proud of me

 

Thank you Allah for yet another day

To save and invest

To gain and re invest

To make sure others benefit from my talents

 

Oh! Allah

Are you not wonderful?

Thank you for the privilege of school

I know I can learn a lot more each day

Thank you Allah

For all my school teachers

Thank you especially

That I can read and write”

 

She then leaves her room

Goes out to the kitchen

Washes the water pot

Takes the big basin out

And heads towards the nearby well

To fetch drinking water for the house

She cooks the breakfast silently

And gets food ready for her sibs to eat

Before they go to school

 

She doesn’t feel sad

That she could not afford to complete

Her education up to the primary school certificate level

She knows she would pass the exams

If given the opportunity

But she realises that her parents

Cannot afford the fees

Even this does not depress her

 

“A happy person learns to bake bread

With whatever type of flour

Allah offers to her”

 

One thing she knew for sure

Was that she would never beg for a living

 

She was deaf and dumb

But she always reminded herself

That she was also lovely and great

 

Many times each day

She would say to herself

“I’m deaf and dumb

But lovely and great

Hardworking and determined

To create jobs for others

Using my God given talents”

 

She wrote this down

On a piece of paper

And kept it in her Koran

 

Every evening after her Sallah

She would engage the almighty

In a discussion

Great creator”

She would say

“Thank you for making me who I am

As I am

And where I am

Thank you particularly

For my parents

My brothers and sisters

Thank you for making me deaf

To the noise of this empty world

Thank you for sealing my lips and my tongue

With your divine restraint

You made me this way

For your goodness

Ah! Maaliki yaw midi din

Master of the day of judgement

I know you will on that great day

Open my ears to hear your voice

And permit my tongue

To sing your praise

Iyaka nabudu wa

Iyaka nasta in

Alhamdu lilaahi rabil Alamin”

 

She’d spend her nights in deep slumber

And dream out great things

Her talents were capable of

Let us see her dream

“I can read and write

So I must study the great book

To find out the will of my creator

And observe his teachings”

“I can read and write

So let me write down

My thoughts and dreams

So that I can always   be reminded

By my book

What I plan to do

And what I dreamt of in my youth

Certainly, if I write my thoughts and dreams,

Someone somewhere will read them someday

And even if I have not accomplished them

Other people could use my lines of thought

And creatively involve their relations and friends

With the help of my ideas”

 

“I shall not beg

I’m too talented

To spend my useful time

Asking for alms”

 

“I shall never look down

On those who are needy

Because I believe

That they are equally gifted

And each of them needs someone

To help them appreciate

How lovely and great they are”

 

“I know I can help people

By praying for them

But I can also reach them

Through simple deeds

That I’m capable of”

 

“I can cook, I can wash

I can farm, I can be a tailor

Or learn to weave

But is that all?

I can read good books

And write my own

I can paint

I can draw

I can snap pictures

Oh! I can make videos

And plant gardens

And do lots and lots of beautiful things

 

Oh! Allah na

I can listen to you in my heart

Or will you not speak to me?

 

Allahu Akbar

Great God! You are wonderful

I know you made me deaf and dumb

But lovely and great

Hardworking and determined

To create jobs for others

Using my God given talents”

 

Her name was Fatsuma

She was eleven years old

And she felt strong,

Purposeful and determined

Built for self actualization

 

She had known about the school

For the deaf and dumb in our village

The missionaries ran the school

Her parents had no sure source of income

But when she was seven,

She met some deaf children coming from school

So she traced the school the following day

And hung around the classrooms

 

One of the teachers noticed her

And tried to communicate to her

Fatsuma felt totally confused but excited

The teacher took her to Sister Gwen’s office

Where gradually, with sign language

Sister Gwen started interacting with her

 

That day, she was enrolled

Into St Francis’ school for the deaf and dumb

Oh! How happy she felt as she eagerly learnt

The sign language in the years that followed

 

After school that day

Sister Gwen drove her home

To her parent’s house

Which was in a state of disrepair

She talked to Fatsuma’s parents

About the value of education

They were not really bothered

For them, Fatsuma was deaf and dumb

And could not be of much help

So whatever she enjoyed doing

Might as well be encouraged

However, they could not afford

To pay her school fees

 

Sister Gwen told them not to worry

About school fees at least while

She was still around

 

When Fatsuma had learnt the sign language well

And was able to read clearly,

She was overjoyed

 

Most of the pupils in St Francis’ were Christians

But Fatsuma was a muslim.

She loved Islam

And the great prophet Mohammed

(Peace be with his soul)

 

One day before Sister Gwen would return

To her homeland in Canada

Fatsuma asked Gwen if she could

Get a copy of the Koran for her

 

With great delight

The reverend sister

Ordered for a Roman transliteration of the holy Koran

And gave it to her as a present

 

Fatsuma was very happy indeed

This was the most beautiful present

She had ever received

She would treasure not just the book

But the divine messages of the holy angels

Meant to be memorised and recited

By all the faithful

As no one will have no excuse

Before Allah

 

Already she was aware

Of the great day of judgement

And her greatest desire

Was to know the way of those

Whose portion is not the wrath of God

 

I watched her pass through our compound

Every day on her way

To and from her school

Following a bush path

I loved watching her

The fact that she loved to study

So intrigued me

That one day

As she was coming back from school

I tried to communicate with her

But I had no knowledge of sign language

 

Fortunately,

She could read and write

So she took out her biro

And wrote on a paper

“What are you saying?”

I wrote a reply

“YOU ARE LOVELY AND GREAT!”

“Thank you”, she replied

Again i wrote

“CONTINUE TO BE GREAT”

Then she wrote down

“I AM DEAF AND DUMB

BUT LOVELY AND GREAT

HARDWORKING AND DETERMINED

TO CREATE JOBS FOR OTHERS

USING MY GOD GIVEN TALENTS”

 

I have watched her growing gently

Into a lady

Truly lovely and great

Hardworking and determined

 

I look forward to appreciating

The great fruits of her life

In this vast world

Of ubiquitous opportunities

 

 

Dr. Terver Chieshe lives in Makurdi, Benue State, Nigeria.

 

 

Posted in LIFE, NAIJA POETRY, POETRY, POETRY FROM THE WORLD

Let There Be Light by Tochi Nicole Brown (a performance poem)

in the beginning, God said, "Let there be light!"
and there was light, and we pronounced it good.
so, light is good. that is established.
but is good light?
can good be light?
we were told that a chaste woman is good
we're listening, we said
oh, by the way, a chaste woman is a circumcised woman
we're no longer listening, we said
for that good is heavy
but a chaste woman doesn't get raped
a chaste woman doesn't show interest
a chaste woman ends her life to save her father's name
your good is too heavy, we replied
for it requires the woman to die, one way or the other
so your good is no good
and your good is not light
for it becomes the woman's burden 
to control the uncontrollable
is there any wonder why we no longer care to be chaste?
why die to be good?
why die to appear good?
stop. stop your re-creation!
let it be said that at the end, God said, "Let there be good!"
and there was good
because women were left as they were created
so we pronounced it light.

Tochi is a change agent, storyteller, author, consultant and entrepreneur. She has degrees in engineering. In 2002 she founded Tochi Inc specializing in personal development and critical human thought. In 2003, she founded One Thought Publishing Inc. She has international experience in product design and development, technical documentation and training, as well as in managing non-profit enterprises.

Tochi is the author of blogs, several books and CDs, as well as an accomplished speaker with the coveted DTM designation from Toastmasters International. She is a regular contributor to several online publications. You can contact her at contact@tochi.us.

Posted in LIFE, POETRY

ABOU BEN ADHEM BY JAMES HENRY LEIGH HUNT

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An angel writing in a book of gold:—

Courtesy http://calligraphy-uk.com/2011/02/875/abou_ben_adhem_uk600/

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said
“What writest thou?”—The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord,
Answered “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still, and said “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow men.”

 

The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest.

 

 

James Henry Leigh Hunt

 

Posted in ESSAYS AND LITERARY JOURNEYS, FUNNY, POL TALKS

How to worship the Nigerian god – ElNathan John

How to worship the Nigerian god | Daily Times Nigeria.

The Nigerian god is one. It may have many different manifestations, but it is essentially different sides of the same coin. Sometimes, adherents of the different sides may fight and kill each other. But Nigerians essentially follow the Nigerian god.

This article is for all those who want to become better worshippers. If you are a new or prospective convert, God will bless you for choosing the Nigerian god. This is just how you must worship him.

First, you must understand that being a worshipper has nothing to do with character, good works or righteousness. So the fact that you choose to open every meeting with multiple prayers does not mean that you intend to do what is right. The opening prayer is important. Nothing can work without it. If you are gathered to discuss how to inflate contracts, begin with an opening prayer or two. If you are gathered to discuss how to rig elections, begin with a prayer. The Nigerian god appreciates communication.

When you sneak away from your wife to call your girlfriend in the bathroom, and she asks if you will come this weekend, you must say—in addition to “Yes”—“By God’s grace” or “God willing”. It doesn’t matter the language you use. Just add it. The Nigerian god likes to be consulted before you do anything, including a trip to Obudu to see your lover.

When worshipping the Nigerian god, be loud. No, the Nigerian god is not hard of hearing. It is just that he appreciates your loud fervour, like he appreciates loud raucous music. The Nigerian god doesn’t care if you have neighbours and neither should you. When you are worshipping in your house, make sure the neighbours can’t sleep. Use loud speakers even if you are only two in the building. Anyone who complains must be evil. God will judge such a person.

Attribute everything to the Nigerian god. So, if you diverted funds from public projects and are able to afford that Phantom, when people say you have a nice car, say, “Na God”. If someone asks what the secret of all your wealth is, say, “God has been good to me”. By this you mean the Nigerian god who gave you the uncommon wisdom to re-appropriate public funds.

Consult the Nigerian god when you don’t feel like working. The Nigerian god understands that we live in a harsh climate where it is hard to do any real work. So, if you have no clue how to be in charge and things start collapsing, ask people to pray to God and ask for his intervention.

The Nigerian god loves elections and politics. When you have bribed people to get the Party nomination, used thugs to steal and stuff ballot boxes, intimidated people into either sitting at home or voting for you, lied about everything from your assets to your age, and you eventually, (through God’s grace), win the elections, you must begin by declaring that your success is the wish of God and that the other candidate should accept this will of God. It is not your fault whom theNigerian god chooses to reward with political success. How can mere mortals complain?

The Nigerian god does not tolerate disrespect. If someone insults your religion, you must look for anyone like them and kill them. Doesn’t matter what you use—sticks, machetes, grenade launchers, IED’s, AK47’s.

The Nigerian god performs signs and wonders. He does everything from cure HIV to High BP. And the Nigerian god is creative: he can teach a person who was born blind the difference between blue and green when the man of god asks, and he can teach a person born deaf instant English. As a worshipper you must let him deliver you because every case of sickness is caused by evil demons and not infections. Every case of barrenness is caused by witches and has no scientific explanation. So instead of hospital, visit agents of the Nigerian god. But the Nigerian god does not cure corruption. Do not attempt to mock him.

If you worship the Nigerian god, you are under no obligation to be nice or kind to people who are not worshippers. They deserve no courtesy.

The Nigerian god is also online. As a worshipper, you are not obliged to be good or decent on Facebook or twitter all week except on Friday and Sunday, both of which the Nigerian god marks as holy. So you may forward obscene photos, insult people, forward lewd jokes on all days except the holy days. On those holy days, whichever applies to you, put up statuses saying how much you are crazy about God.

These days, the Nigerian god also permits tweets and Facebook updates like: “Now in Church” or “This guy in front of me needs to stop dozing” when performing acts of worship.

In all, the Nigerian god is very kind and accommodating. He gives glory and riches and private jets. And if you worship him well, he will immensely bless your hustle.

ElNathan John is a Nigerian writer, advocate and social activist. Find him here or simply Google him 🙂

(First seen on Atumercy)

Posted in LIFE

GUEST BLOGGER: Rosarii Gberikon ‘TRANSFORMATIONS’

I actually wrote dis post two years back,while awaiting my NYSC.It was a long wait,I stayed home for two whole years depressed and filled with anger,that’s actually what inspired this write up.
Today makes it exactly a month since I lost my dad to a car accident.I still find it hard to accept that his actually gone.I miss him sooooo much,words can’t even start to describe.How can a man soooo full of life leave just like that? I hate to say his dead,cause the word “death/dead” feels so far fetched in describing what has become of a man like my dad.I prefer to say his gone,or has left earth.This post,was initially titled “Hate”,a friend of mine helped me edit it,and had me read it.it”s quite amazing how it describes my current situation and comforts me.My mums says it’s scary.lol… Well, here it is,enjoy and stay blessed.
TRANSFORMATIONS

It advanced menacing,
Mean and dark
Fierce, with deep tormenting hard eyes
It speaks no word but instills fear and anger.
As it walked towards me, those tormenting eyes weakened my knees, planting fright in me.
I fell to the floor helpless.
I felt my heart ache, and then felt it no more, as its claws took it out of me.
I lay there on the floor feeling empty, no love, no care –
Just bitterness, anger, depression and HATRED!!
With this, all my dreams, hopes and worth were tarnished – vanished.
In its stead came self pity and no self worth.
Every other night, I cried myself to sleep. Sleeping itself was hard.
I felt the whole world take me for a joke and think me worthless.
I confided in anger and hatred. They became my best friends.

Still, I caught the view
Two arms always spread apart, waiting to embrace me, but I always walked on by in thought:
“What the hell can a silly embrace do for me?”
Then, on that faithful night, as I lay on my bed crying, I saw those arms again, and decided to give them a try.
I went in for the embrace, the arms held me so tight, as if never ever wanting to let go of me.
It was the warmest embrace, that of a father to a child promising to always guard me.
The look in its eyes, that of a mother to a child telling me she’d always love me
Assuring me we would pull through whatever, together.
The smile on the lips, that of siblings and true friends overlooking my mood swings
Smiling just to show they understand me.
And then it struck me. That warm embrace was Christ himself.
He restored my heart (love) back to me and assured me through that warm embrace that all would be well,
And he’d always be here for me. He made me see how lovely a family and friends he has given me.
They are always going to love, care trust and believe in me regardless…
I love you Jesus. Thank you for giving me a piece of you here on earth
In the peace of this lovely family and friends.

“…THE LORD NEVER PROMISED US A STORMLESS LIFE, BUT HE SURE GAVE US HOPE TO SEE THE END”

Rosarii is a creative artist and lovely lovely lady. She blogs at http://rosariiorvendega.blogspot.com.